Off late, there has been news of dengue striking the country. With an estimated 100 million cases of its occurrence every year worldwide, Dengue is a very common and quite a threatening condition caused when bitten by Aedes Aegypti mosquito. These mosquitoes breed in warm and humid climate – yes India is very prone to dengue outbreaks! Being a mosquito borne disease, dengue raises its ugly head during humid monsoons. It so happens that the Aedes Aegypti mosquito bites an infected human, carries the dengue virus and now whoever it bites contracts dengue. Dengue does not passes from a person to person.
There are four different viruses that cause dengue fever. Once infected by a particular virus, the person become immune to it, but the danger of getting infected by other three virus still looms. The symptoms may not show immediately, they may become apparent maybe three days after being bitten. Most common symptom in children is fever and rash, however below is a list of all possible symptoms which cannot be ignored:
Signs & Symptoms Of Dengue Fever In Kids
Dengue generally starts like a viral fever in younger children, a runny nose, cough, and a mild rash on the skin. It has also been referred to as “breakbone fever” because of the symptoms it causes. Generically, the following symptoms, if observed in your child could mean that your child has got dengue:
The child has high fever – up to 105.8°C
He complains of joint aches
Frequent headaches and chills
Pain behind eyes
Mild body rash or a red and white patchy rash
Flu-like condition – cough and cold
Severe symptoms of dengue in kids may include:
Bleeding from nose and gums
Low blood pressure
Vomiting or nausea
Dehydration and loss of appetite
itchiness on the soles of the feet
Dengue renders a person very pale and weak, and this weakness may continue for some time after the illness as well.
It’s essential to watch for these signs, which may otherwise take the form of more complicated and life threatening conditions such as dengue shock syndrome and dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF). DHF can cause multiple serious conditions and may even lead to death in some cases. DHD needs to be medically treated right away.
Diagnosis of Dengue Fever In Children
Dengue is largely a tropical area disease, and most doctors prescribe a blood test to check for the dengue viruses. However, most professionals will identify dengue just from the appearance of a child.
The doctor will ask you several questions related to the symptoms and exposure to mosquitoes of your child; your travel history etc.
Your child may be advised to undergo a blood test to detect presence of dengue virus
A complete blood count may also be suggested to identify the severity of virus attack (the blood platelets may be affected)
If you suspect your child has been affected, it makes to call the doctor right away. Also, do get checked if the child exhibits any of teh above mentioned symptoms if he has been around a dengue infected place.
Treatment of Dengue In Kids
Generally dengue resolves on its own and there are no specific medicines to quickly treat dengue. If severe forms of dengue has been diagnosed, then hospitalization may be required. Blood pressure and blood counts are monitored and blood tests will be performed at intervals. Preventing dehydration and letting the patient rest are two most important prerequisites for treating dengue fever in children. However following tips can be followed on managing dengue:
No work – no play – only rest and loads of rest
Nutritious food – preferably thoroughly cooked and light such as khichdi
Although paracetamol may be prescribed for taming fever, the age-old trick of putting wet cloth on the forehead still works wonders!
Ibuprofen and aspirin should be avoided, stick to paracetamol!
Drink plenty of warm fluids
You may administer Electrolyte/ORS powder to the child to prevent dehydration
Dengue may leave your child weak and tired even for more than a month, though dengue itself lasts for about 10 days. If you notice your child’s symptoms to get worse after the fever has been gone for a day or two,it could be an indication of DHF, which is deemed as a huge medical emergency.
Ayurvedic Treatment For Dengue
Since rest and nutritious light diet is the only way to get rid of dengue, some Ayurvedic treatments have been acclaimed to treat and cure dengue. Tulsi (Holy Basil) leaves are given to the patient as they strengthen the stomach and have multiple medicinal properties. In some states of India, juice of papaya leaves are also used to treat and cure dengue. Some Ayurveda doctors also advise drinking tea made from fenugreek leaves. However, these treatments should be prescribed and done by a practicing Ayurvedic doctor only. These herbs, if not administered in correct proportion and doses, can otherwise have adverse effects.
Prevention Of Dengue Fever In Children
There is no vaccine to treat dengue hence prevention is the only key to safeguard your children. The best way is not to let any mosquitoes breed near your house, the child’s school, and the place where he plays.
Maintaining a clean and hygienic environment is the key!
Close garbage lids, use public garbage which are far from home
Get rid of all stagnant water, which may be accumulated in Cooler tanks, flower pots, puddles at home – dengue mosquitoes breed here
It’s preferable to close windows and doors before evening, as this is the time when mosquitoes try to enter home
Try installing mosquito mesh – at least to the doors and windows of your child’s room
The best way to prevent mosquito bite is using mosquito nets at night
Use natural remedies such as placing neem leaves tied in a bundle of cloth at corners of house
You may even burn an earthen lamp containing neem oil
Take advantage of mosquito repellent cream such as odomos which can be applied anytime anywhere
Get mosquito bands and badges for your kid to wear while playing outside
Cover him as much as you can, dress him in full sleeved, full tracks – light colored clothes
Use mosquito repellents for spraying at home. Make sure that your kids does not inhales this. Its best to cover your nose and mouth, spray the repellent in room, keep it shut for some time and then the room is ready to use
Dengue virus leaves the body feeling tired and it may take up to six weeks to get back into previous form. Be empathetic with your child and provide him a balanced diet. The body may feel generally unwell and make your kid feel depressed, support him and try to cheer him up. With your care and love your kid will be alright within a few days, but be careful to prevent dengue attacking another family member!